Let's Redefine Deprivation

My youngest son and I recently visited my oldest daughter and son-in-law in Seattle. We experienced all the wonderful landmarks of the city such as the Space Needle and Pike's Place Market, etc., but the highlight was hiking to the top of Rattlesnake Ridge to see the breathtaking and magnificent views from the summit.

I was so totally blown away by what I saw when I reached the summit that I squealed with delight! - just ask my daughter who captured my over-the-top enthusiasm on video via her iPhone! I was also reminded how very thankful I am to no longer be addicted to the Standard American Diet and obese. [A little over five years ago, at age 47, I was severely addicted to fake, low-nutrient foods, 100 lbs. overweight, prediabetic, and suffered from coronary artery disease, hypertension, chronic fatigue, and increasing immobility. Within a year, I dropped the weight and got my health restored.]  

Additionally, I would've missed out on so much of the trip if I were still unhealthy, because we walked and hiked a lot and had a wonderful time doing it!

 

The worst of the nightmarish memories of obesity and poor health have gradually faded over time, and I tend to take my health for granted these days. I need trips like this past one to be reminded, once again, how much freedom I have now as a healthy individual. Plus, my obesity would've ruined the visit for my daughter and son-in-law as I would've only been able to sit around in their apartment, or sightsee via bus tours, or dine continually on decadent foods – not much else - and that would've been a bummer for them.

I'm continually grateful for the many blessings that being fully committed to the nutritarian diet-style has allowed me to enjoy these past five years. And to think that for many years I incorrectly thought it was too restrictive, and I was afraid that I’d be regularly deprived.

Not being able to hike up Rattlesnake Ridge and experience the grandeur of the view at the summit, or watch the shear delight and excitement on my 14-year-old son's face would've been restrictive. Likewise, I would've been deprived of making a lifetime memory with my daughter and son-in-law as well.

We must get this deprivation thing turned around. Eating a crispy, succulent apple instead of a candy bar is not deprivation - it is liberty! Eating a scrumptious kale salad with orange-cashew-toasted sesame dressing instead of a grilled cheese sandwich and bag of chips is not restrictive – it is pure pleasure beyond what words can express! 

 

image credit by yarophoto.com

What is it Like to be Free from Food Addiction?

Felicia was recently interviewed on Disease Proof. [click here to read her interview]  She’s lost over 160 lbs in less than a year, and she’s still losing!  I asked her if she’d be willing to share what her life is like now that she's free from food addiction, and she wrote the following. May it inspire you with renewed hope and encouragement in your journey to live in the best health that’s possible!

 

What is it like to be free from food addiction?

by Felicia Ricks

 

The definition of addiction according to the dictionary is “a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit forming substance.”

I never thought of food as a habit forming substance, but I always thought of it as a necessary requirement for the body to survive. It wasn’t until I heard Dr. Fuhrman talk about toxic hunger that I came to the realization that I had a food addiction and had a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit forming substance.

When I initially started on Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian program, I experienced toxic hunger and I didn’t feel very well for several days. I asked myself, “Is this how drug addicts feel when they’re going through detoxification? This doesn’t feel good at all!” Although, I was experiencing some withdrawal symptoms I was determined to break the vicious cycle of food addiction by not eating the foods that caused the addiction. After enduring the “not so good days” I noticed that I wasn’t jittery, the headaches were non-existent and I didn’t feel the desire to put a Snickers bar in my mouth. I knew I was on the road to recovery.

Being free from my food addiction was an answered prayer because one of my prayers was to be self-controlled in my eating habits. However for many, many, years I was never able to consistently maintain self-control. It wasn’t until I totally committed to eating the foods that were originally intended for our bodies to absorb and digest such as, green vegetables, berries, onions, mushrooms, beans, seeds/nuts (GBOMBS) and COMPLETELY eliminated the refined, sugary, processed and synthetic foods and drinks, that I began to feel spiritually and physically liberated. I feel as though I am no longer bound and enslaved by the self-inflicted chains of food addiction and I am no longer defiling my body. I also feel as though a weight, figuratively and literally has been lifted from me and now I can honestly and unequivocally say that, “I am free indeed!”

Thank you Dr. Fuhrman for spreading the message and informing people about the benefits of healthy nutrition. Also for holding fast to the statement by Hippocrates, “Food shall be your medicine and your medicine shall be your food.”

 

“It will take strength. It will take effort. But the pleasure and rewards that you will get from a healthy life will be priceless.”
-Dr. Fuhrman

 

 

 

 

 

image credit:  flickr by Marin Cathrae

There is No Greater Joy

"The most effective treatment for breaking any bad habit or addiction is abstinence."    -Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

I've never been drunk, in fact, I don't drink alcohol. I grew up in a home where alcohol wasn’t consumed, so therefore, I didn't acquire a taste for it. However, during college I lived in a house with 28 other girls, and most Saturday and Sunday mornings I witnessed the various hangovers from the drinking parties the night before. I felt so sorry for them. I couldn't understand why they would do such a thing to torture their poor bodies so much.

Well, just a couple of years later when I was in the midst of my own hangovers from toxic food addiction, I could finally understand. When a poisonous addiction takes over, it tortures both body and mind. After a toxic food binge I would feel bloated, painfully miserable, and disoriented for several hours until the foods got out of my system; only to eat them all over again.

For me, being free from toxic food hangovers has been even more exciting than losing weight or getting health restored. To anyone who doesn't understand that concept, be thankful. Be very thankful. To be imprisoned to habitual bingeing hangovers is a terrible captivity, and I was in the dark abyss for over 20 years.

  • I dreaded birthday parties and holiday feasts, yet craved them at the same time.
  • I dreaded the way I'd feel after eating fake stuff, yet couldn't live without it.
  • I even dreaded getting up many mornings to face another day of bingeing; dreading it, yet craving it. What insanity.

Perhaps that's why I'm so staunch about abstinence to the point others may think I'm extreme and crazy. I know how deep one can dig into the pit of food addiction. I've seen what it can do to my body and sanity, and I’ve seen what it can do to others as well . . . and I don't give a rip what anyone thinks about my decision to be abstinent.

Have you ever experienced food binge hangovers, and are you free from them?

If not, you can be starting right now.

 

Freedom is two-fold:

1) One must eat for health by carefully following the nutritional guidelines in Eat to Live; flooding the body with comprehensive micronutrient adequacy to meet the biological needs of the body.

2) And abstain from those foods and situations that trigger addictive binges. Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging that usually causes one to feel worse for the first several days before feeling better. The key to successfully overcoming an addiction is to never give into the impulse to indulge, no matter what. There is no other way out.

 

Once you cross the threshold where toxic food binges no longer overpower you, you will be free for the rest of your life! You’ll naturally prefer eating less when you consume high-nutrient foods instead of fake foods; you’ll naturally get more pleasure out of eating and living; and you’ll enjoy a healthy body and sane mind that is free from the physical and mental torment of the addiction.

Contend for your freedom today. Eat for health and remain abstinent from triggers. 

There is no greater joy!

 

[The pictures are of yours truly. The image at the top was taken on July 10, 2008, the day I committed to follow Eat to Live; and the image on the left was taken this past summer, four years later. This coming July I will celebrate my fifth year anniversary of being free from food addiction! Click here to view my journey to freedom.]

Extinguish the pilot light; part 2

gas flame

Recently, in a post titled, “Extinguish the pilot light,” I explained how crucial it is to keep the pilot light of addiction, those seemingly insignificant-at-the-time compromises, extinguished at all times. 

I want to devote this post to clarifying the difference between an occasional slip-up and ongoing compromises. 

Slip-ups happen from time to time - they just do – it’s a part of transitioning into a whole new way of eating and living for the rest of one’s life. There’s a learning curve, especially in the beginning, to understanding the science behind Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations. 

For instance, I committed to Eat to Live in July 2008, and by that first Thanksgiving I thought it would be perfectly fine to eat the traditional feast. It never occurred to me that I’d get violently sick so I enjoyed the feasting and merriment with gusto. I quickly learned just how TERRIBLY toxic the standard American diet was ~ even though I knew from my studying that it was poisonous to the body.

And I've had plenty of slip-ups since then. I wish I could say that I've been perfect at all times, but I haven't.

Even with eating only high-nutrient foods and having cravings for fake food gone as a result, I've eaten beyond "before full." I've eaten as a result of being frustrated. I've eaten for stimulation because I was tired. And I've eaten for recreation with others when I wasn't a bit hungry. However, and a big however, each time I quickly realized my error and moved on quickly; contending with all strength to keep going!

I want to make clear that the pilot light that I'm referring to is the intentional decision to choose compromises, aka “cheats”, on a regular basis. These habitual choices, even if they are seemingly insignificant at the time, are the pilot light.

 

The willful decision to see how much one can cheat and get by; how much one can straddle the fence, or how much one can habitually overeat . . . . and still keep the addiction eradicated . . . . that’s what I'm referring to as being the next-to-impossible feat to accomplish.

 

It can't be done!

 

I repeat ~ it can't be done.

 

With repetitive compromises, the addictive cravings are rumbling beneath the surface, and it just takes a tiny spark to ignite them to full strength and power!

For one to be truly free, the pilot light needs to be extinguished and remain that way . . . .for life.

AND to live in denial of food addiction's power is to remain its prisoner, or worse yet, the path right back to captivity.

Choose the easy way and keep the pilot light extinguished at all times.  

Continual freedom and excellent health to all!

 

celebration

 

Image credits: gas flame: flickr by stevendepolo; celebration: by Elijah Lynn

Food addiction is just as serious as drug addiction

Emily Boller before pic

 

If we feed addiction, it grows.

If we abstain, it dies.

 

If we give in an inch, food addiction will capture and drag us for miles; literally strangling the very life out of us.

It's mean.

It's ruthless.

It clothes one in rags.

It destroys families and homes.

It robs romantic intimacy between husband and wife.

It eats up finances and drowns its victims in dire poverty.

It’s no respecter of persons; socioeconomic, educational, or professional.

It doesn't care who it maims and disables in its path of destruction, including those the addict loves and cares about.  It's never solitary; it affects everyone surrounding the captive.

Don't give food addiction the opportunity to suck the life out of you. Contend for your freedom if it costs you everything you’ve got. Some may call you neurotic. Others may avoid your company. Still others may ridicule your commitment and entice you to consider moderation, but don't give into the voice of the enemy.
 


If you give in, you are undone. If you “wait until tomorrow” . . . . the truth is tomorrow never comes, because food addiction grows stronger with each compromise.   

I'm a bit passionate, I know. But in order to give food addiction black ‘n blue eyes, and ruthlessly disable it from ever coming after me again, I've had to be.

One day I hit a wall. I saw the seriousness of what the addiction was doing to my marriage and family, my health, my sanity, and my talents; and knew that I had no other option but to radically commit to Eat to Live to stop its destruction. I was willing to pay any price to get free. 

 

Willingness to commit to carefully following the plan in Eat to Live (aka total abstinence) is the key to long-term success. Once one is willing, no obstacle will be in the way as obstacles are just the welcome excuse to continue in addiction.

Emily Boller afterI'll never give up the fight. I'll never quit contending for my own freedom and health, and the freedom and health of my fellow man, no matter what, for life.

 

 

The image at the top of this post is a picture of me the day before I committed to abstinence from the standard America diet.

Freedom now equals freedom on down-the-road

 

Are you free from food addiction?

Are you free from hypertension medications and insulin?

Are you free from bypass surgery lurking around the corner?

Are you free from obesity and its accompanying diseases, aches and pains?

Are you free from the financial burdens of lost wages and expensive medical bills?

Eating a bowl of mixed greens & beans drizzled with a delicious nut-based dressing instead of a couple slices of pizza and can of soda may seem like a radical lifestyle change, but it really is a simple and cost effective solution to a very complicated problem; that being the loss of independence.  

After the astronomical bills arrive in the mail who is going to pay them?

After the stroke who is going to tie the bib, feed, bathe, and even possibly change the diaper?

After degenerative disc disease has robbed mobility and peace, who is going to shop and prepare meals and soothe sleepless nights?

Paying the price today to be free from food addiction and accompanying diseases means enjoying the benefits of freedom on down-the-road.

I don’t know about you, but I want to climb sand dunes and watch sunsets shimmer on water, and produce my best creative works ever in my latter years. I want to laugh and play with my grandchildren and their children. I want to gracefully grow old; not rot in the prison of disease.     

This Fourth of July, along with the festivities, fireworks, and parades; one of the best ways that we can honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our nation’s freedom is to commit or recommit to paying the price for our own personal freedoms! 

Freedom now equals freedom on down-the-road. 

Take it.

It’s yours to enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July!

 

image credit:  flickr by uhuru1701

Radical changes produce radical results

For years I suffered from binge eating [aka Binge Eating Disorder]; usually after episodes of restrictive, deprivation dieting. I read plenty of self-help books and occasionally went to therapy for it. The standard advice given was not to have a radical, “all-or-nothing” mindset concerning food choices. The reason being perfectionism can lead to binge eating as a coping mechanism for dieting failure and resulting false guilt. I totally agree that perfectionism can produce a false guilt that can lead to eating everything in sight; however, radical changes are absolutely necessary for the food addict to get free!  

cooked vegetablesAnyone prone to binge eating can overcome it by focusing on eating high nutrient foods for optimal health. There’s no false guilt when one is actively nurturing and giving his/her body the best care possible. When ETL is viewed as a restrictive dieting plan, binge eating most definitely will result for those who have been previously entangled in deprivation/bingeing/guilt cycles.

Dr. Fuhrman strongly urges that moderate changes produce little to no results, but radical changes produce radical results. When one experiences radical improvements of health in a relatively short amount of time, it produces momentum; both psychological and physiological.

The standard American diet is radical and dangerous, and its popularity does not make it less destructive; it is slow suicide. Dr. Fuhrman likens making gradual changes with food to making gradual changes with cocaine. For both the food addict and the cocaine addict, merely cutting down just fuels an overwhelming desire to use more. 

berriesA nutritarian diet is sensible, scientific, logical, and produces great results. I encourage anyone struggling with bingeing to view eating a high nutrient diet as a boundary fence of safety and freedom to enjoy optimal health. The eating plan will enable anyone to successfully get through toxic food cravings and see and feel radical results relatively quickly. If one fills up on nutrients, the cravings for junk will eventually disappear. Guaranteed. 

Abstinence, not perfectionism, is the key. Radical changes produce radical results, and radical results will produce motivation for life!

 

 

Previous posts related to this topic:  Junk food – as addictive as smoking? / Your hunger can keep you healthy / Breaking up is hard to do / Abstinence is key / The powerful snare of compromise  / What kind of glasses do you wear?

 

image credits: flickr - vegetables by ssimm1rg; berries by Lilia’s photos

Food addiction is no joke

Emily Boller obeseMany of us have come out of, or are in the process of, coming out of years of severe food addictions that have consumed our every waking thought and action.

My food addiction got so bad that there were times I couldn't even enter the kitchen to prepare a meal for my family . . . without eating from the moment I started the food prep to the moment the meal was cleaned up afterwards. I could’ve been miserably stuffed, but if a quarter of a pan of lasagna remained, I ate it.

Unfortunately, my children never developed the habit of doing dishes after meals, because I wanted to be alone in the kitchen to devour their uneaten food left on plates (I have five kids), and crusty, greasy leftovers in pans, etc.
 

Denial is the cloak of addiction.  There's got to be a shift of one's mindset to accept the fact that food addiction is serious stuff; just as powerful and destructive as alcohol addiction or drug addiction.  Food addiction and resulting eating disorders and poor health are also destroying relationships, breaking up marriages, draining finances, and ruining homes ~ every bit as much.

 

Our society recognizes the seriousness of alcohol and drug addiction, but food addiction is a joke. Addictive foods and overeating are downplayed and promoted everywhere: by the government, the school systems, the entertainment industry, the medical industry, and even at places that should be sanctuaries of refuge such as houses of worship; therefore, we don't take it seriously. If everybody is participating in it, it must be okay, right?  Wrong.  Right along with "Say No to Drugs," "No Smoking," "Alcohol Prohibited," and "Mothers Against Meth," should be "Say No to Overeating," and "Citizens Against SAD!"
 

The truth is, we cannot, we dare not, mess with food addiction.  Period.  Abstinence and sobriety are just as critical to the food addict as they are to the alcoholic and drug addict. We must accept this fact; if we don't, we are undone. There's really no choice in the matter if we want to get completely free and get our health and lives back.

Making baby steps of change may work for some, but for the majority of us who’ve been entangled for years, we need to throw internal wrestling and debate out the window and just follow Dr. Fuhrman’s basic high-nutrient eating plan that’s outlined on p. 179 of Eat to Live. It’s been successfully proven over and over again to be the way out of the food addiction wilderness. 

Food addiction is no joke; it ruins lives. 

Let's all follow the path of freedom and become everything that we were meant to be!

before and after images


Previous posts related to this topic:  Are you a food addict?  It's time for a revolution!  Lubrication, I like that word  and  Why?

 

All images presented are before and after pictures of Emily Boller; 2008 & 2010.

 

What does freedom mean to you?

American flagOn a recent visit to the Henry Ford Museum, I enjoyed perusing the Liberty and Justice for All exhibit; comprised of everything related to the history of American freedoms, including our Nation’s Independence, the Abolition of Slavery, Women’s Suffrage, and the Civil Right’s Movement. As one who is intrigued by mindsets that make a culture tick, I was attracted to a wall full of attendees’ interactive responses to the question, “What does freedom mean to you?”

Although the question was posed in the context of our nation’s freedoms, the majority of answers were related to personal freedoms. By far, the most popular answer went something like this, “Being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever your want, with whoever you want.” Basically, a life without boundaries meant freedom to most.

As I looked around the vast museum and observed the saddened faces of many obese individuals that day, chained to malaise and poor health, I couldn’t help but ask myself if eating whatever one wants truly leads to freedom.

In stark contrast, I've heard the following from the mouth of a wise sage, “In discipline there is freedom.” In other words, by living within the safety of boundaries, there is genuine freedom to do whatever one wants.

For example, eating only when hungry and choosing nutrient-dense foods brings: 

  • Freedom from joint pain and immobility
  • Freedom from bloating, brain fog and drowsiness 
  • Freedom from multiple doctors, expensive meds and surgeries
  • Freedom from invasive and potentially harmful medical interventions
  • Freedom to thoroughly enjoy the pleasure of eating great tasting, whole foods                  
  • Freedom to live at an ideal weight and feel good 
  • Freedom to ride a bike and play ball with the kids and/or grandkids 
  • Freedom to shovel snow without fear of a heart attack
  • Freedom to enjoy life to its fullest

bike riders

What we believe shapes who we are today, and who we become tomorrow.

As we think, so we become. 

What does freedom mean to you? 

 

 

image credits:  American flag, Flickr: by uhuru1701; bike ride, Flickr: by pcopros

The danger of exhaustion

exhausted male

Exhaustion. 

The kind of fatigue that develops as a result of the newborn crying again at 3 am. 

The kind that develops while recovering from major surgery.

The kind that no amount of cheering fixes. 

Exhaustion is dangerous stuff that leads to apathy. 

Apathy says, “I don’t give a rip. I don’t care.”   

When one’s body gets to that degree of fatigue, watch out! 

Recently, I found the following writing that I had posted on the member center of DrFuhrman.com during the year that I’d lost 100 lbs.   It was dated, March 14, 2009; a little over eight months into the journey of earning my health back. The scales were down about eighty pounds, and I was well out of toxic food cravings. Just a few weeks prior to this writing I had had a major surgery, and decided to take a road trip to visit my son at college; a 3 1/2 hour drive away.

 

          I had a wonderful drive to visit my son. It was beautiful weather, and he had an eventful afternoon planned for my 14-year-old daughter and me. We went gallery hopping, window shopping, grocery shopping; plus, we toured the campus. On the outside I look relatively well now, but I’m still recovering from a major surgery that I had just a few weeks ago. This trip was my first "day away" since surgery. Can anyone spell s-t-u-p-i-d? 

          Well, between cleaning the house, and a 1/2 hour incline treadmill walk in the morning before departing; plus, all the excitement of the day, by early  evening, I had bit off way more than my body could physically manage. I was extremely exhausted, and was facing another 3 1/2 hour drive back home. At that moment, my rational mind shut down, and the irrational thought of "I don't care anymore" took over.

          My son had given his little sister a sack full of chocolate pop tarts (leftovers from his dorm breakfasts ~ the breakfasts of champions for college students.)  In "I don't care" mode, I asked for a pop tart, and my daughter graciously obliged. I opened the package, and the two pop tarts were stale, but I didn’t care. I ate them anyway. Then I read on the package that I had just eaten 73 grams of carbs. This freaked me out so I bought some tuna salad that was swimming in mayonnaise at a deli to compensate for any blood sugar issues that I might have created with the pop tarts. You know where this story is going . . . 

          I stopped mid-drive home, and got a gooey, hot fudge sundae. Then an hour later, I bought a candy bar and cream filled caramels at a gas station, scarfed them down, and then devoured a peanut butter sandwich when I got home. Then I collapsed in bed. Forget brushing the teeth . . . my body was beyond exhausted. There was not one ounce of self care or nurturing left. *


exhausted female holding cupWhen we are extremely exhausted, we have a tendency to make unwise choices. Oftentimes, we no longer desire to properly nurture and care for our bodies. When the body is pushed beyond healthy limits, it automatically shuts down, and goes into "I don't care" mode; and that's the most dangerous place to be! One can have good intentions, but in "I don't care" mode irrationality takes over.

We need to be diligent to make time for proper self-care; that includes nurturing as well as nourishment. We need to be kind to our bodies and not abuse them by overextending their capabilities. We need to make time for rest and rejuvenation, which may include asking others for help; especially in seasons of additional stress.

Wise choices produce freedom! 

 

After two years of eating high nutrient foods, I now have a strong aversion to junk food, and would get violently sick if I binged on those same foods.

 

 

image credits:  vbd.com; magazine.ayurvediccure.com